‘Community police key to crime fight’

Police on patrol

Police on patrol

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Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden says community policing must be a priority for Lancashire Police following the re-election of Clive Grunshaw as Police and Crime Commissioner.

Mr Marsden is worried by some trends in resort crime figures and insists better community policing can help prevent more major incidents.

His call comes as figures show there were more than 3,000 reported crimes on the Fylde coast in just one month.

Mr Marsden said: “The overall figures are iffy.

“Crime has fallen overall but there are some worrying trends.

“A lot of that is down, I think, to a loss of police officers.

“We need to have a properly worked out funding formula.

“We also need to push ahead with the new police station which, along with a town centre contact point can make a real difference.

“Getting a funding formula out of the Government will be key.

“We also have to have ring-fenced funding for neighbourhood policing which people tell us is the number one priority and is a key tool in tackling bigger crimes.”

More than 3,000 crimes were reported across the Fylde coast in February including nearly 600 violent or sexual offences.

Data published on the police.uk website shows a total of 3,352 incidents reported to Lancashire Constabulary.

Two thirds of those reports were made in Blackpool – the resort accounting for 2,195 incidents.

The Commissioner yesterday signed his oath of office to officially begin his second term.

He said: “I am delighted and humbled that the people of Lancashire have again placed their faith in me to ensure Lancashire Constabulary builds on the excellent work it is doing and becomes the best force in the country.”

“It is a vote of confidence in my work so far that I have once again has been elected to office to serve a second term.”

The Commissioner will now set to work consulting residents over a new Police and Crime Plan, which sets out his strategic priorities for the next four years, and continuing to improve police efficiency in order to deliver more than £16m in savings, needed as a result of Government funding cuts.

Mr Grunshaw added: “Emerging issues, such as cybercrime and human trafficking, mean the way Lancashire Police operates will continue to evolve in future. That is why I am continuing to invest in the force to ensure we can meet this challenge and I will keep up the fight for fairer funding in Lancashire.”